Franchise mode improved, but essentially, the exact same game.

User Rating: 8.5 | Madden NFL 12 X360
I've been back and forth if this is a great game, or just another re-hash. Well, drum's a little of both.
Now, I mostly play in Franchise, and was therefore jazzed about the changes to that mode. I was looking forward to the, "Improved" draft system, real time free agent bidding, and something I really missed, being able to select different teams at the end of a season, and practicing within Franchise mode itself.

The Rehash:

If you're not a big Franchise mode player, Madden 12 is virtually the same game. Yes, there are some minor game play tweaks, but really, nothing worth spending $60 hard earned bucks on. The game play, and controls are exactly the same, which in one way is good, in that I personally love how the games play out, but really HATE the stinking D pad controls. Madden 2005 had better controls.
The menu's are a pain, especially in Franchise mode; and without the option of, "Auto Save," you can lose ALL of your work on the new playbook, game plan, and/or a years worth of franchise play, if you don't remember to save as you go. If you exit without paying attention to the, "Are you sure?" warning, you screwed!
The commentary gets annoying, because it's exactly the same as last years. Same tired, canned phrases, which get old, fast.


Are incredible. You can see the individual blades of grass. Really nice job here.

Game Play:

You can finally make a sideline catch, runners don't break out of gang tackles line last years game, but, really, if you joined a game in the middle, you couldn't tell last years game from this years.


Quickly, Draft mode. What a pile of crap. You have almost no information at the end of the year, after, "Scouting," needed players. It's like drafting blind. Even with additional scouting opportunities given at the end of the year, you are still drafting almost blind!
You can draft a top 10 HB, with a 98 speed, rating, but only after the pre season, do you find out he has a 20 awareness, no trucking ability, and is a 64 with C or D potential. That really pisses you off!
The draft system sucks!
Real NFL scouts have tons of info before making their selections. You are given jack shutters.
The Solution, cheat. Save your franchise, pick the 5 guys allowed in, "Player Workouts," which gives you Every rating. Write them down, exit Franchise, without saving, and do it again with 5 more players. It is extremely time consuming, is a pain in the arse, but if you really want to be certain who you're drafting, it is the Only way. I will allow myself only a few, as there is no challenge in it, but screw it. Before drafting my new franchise QB, I want more than his speed, and toughness ratings!

Free agency is o.k., but you have to be really quick. You bid on a player, and if you need a few positions, you have to bid, go to the, "All selected" screen, and be really quick about outbidding the competition. It's more stressful than it needs to be.

Practice is fine, being able to change a players rating is good if you do pick a 50 in the first round, and picking a new team at the end of the year is cool, as I like to change it up. Once I've turned the Rams into winners, I like to move on to another challenge., after I've built a loser into a winner.

I do enjoy playing Madden. I love the challenge, and for a guy who grew up with Pong, it really is a blast. That said, this will be my last purchase of this franchise until they make some improvements, and real changes, that make more sense. I don't want the same crap, in a different green box year after year anymore.